JUDICIAL COUNCIL OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
IN RE: Request from the General Conference for a Declaratory Decision as to the constitutionality of legislation Approved as Calendar Item 355 Regarding Guaranteed Appointments
Security of appointment has long been a part of the tradition of The United Methodist Church and its predecessor bodies. Abolishing security of appointment would destroy our historic plan for our itinerant superintendency. Fair process procedures, trials and appeals are integral parts of the privilege of our clergy of right to trial by a committee and of appeal and is an absolute right which cannot be eradicated by legislation. The amendments to ¶ 337, as contained in Calendar Item 355, are unconstitutional and violate the third and fourth restrictive rules of the Constitution. The original ¶ 337 of the Discipline is restored and maintained and the changes made thereto at 2012 General Conference are null, void and of no effect. The amendments to ¶ 321, as contained in Calendar Items 352, is also declared repugnant to the Constitution and hence, unconstitutional. The original ¶ 321 of the Discipline is restored and maintained, and the changes made thereto by the 2012 General Conference are null, void, and of no effect. Calendar Item 358, the new transitional leave ¶ 354, is declared unconstitutional, and Calendar Item 359, which removed the language of a transitional leave from ¶ 354 of the Discipline, is also declared unconstitutional. The current language for a transitional leave as provided for in ¶ 354 is restored and maintained.
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